Characters

This page looks at the modelling of the two characters I created, although I worked on animation for a majority of them this is specific to the modelling workflow

Overview

I was tasked with modelling the main character Gloria and the other game character known as Piano man. I am not really a character modeller and they are quite complex assets to create as they also need to be animated. As our game had 5 characters and 5 environments as well as several pallet swapped characters, I’d work on the modelling for just two characters

Character modelling process

 

  • Align flat planes along the X axis and Y axis of 3D space

  • Texture planes with turnaround sheets created by Ella

  • Start with a plane for modelling,

  • extrude along the X axis making cuts until the enter shape of the base character mesh is cut out.

  • Align topology evenly and concentrate around joints.

  • Create cuts all in the opposite direction to build quad geometry.

  • Extrude along the Y axis to create the shell

  • Mirror to make a full model

  • Add more cuts and geometry

  • Fix topology and form using model sheets for reference

  • Weald vertices seams

  • Tweak additional model vertices

  • To create clothes:

  • Select faces from base mesh, extrude and clone faces

  • Extrude faces into models

  • Tweak geometry to create clothe shapes

  • Add additional geometry for any detail objects like straps/belts

  • Apply smoothing if required

  • Create hair:

  • Extrude head and clone faces

  • Use cuts and extrusions to pull hair strips down in sections.

Planning

 

Fortunately Bernie and  I had Ella to design turn around sheets for characters, this clears up a lot of grey area when working with characters and fortunately we’ve both been trained in 3D to work with character sheets. That leaves the other planning elements including poly count, topology and joint work. I want to keep the poly count for character under 10,000 polygons as This will allow smooth animations and prevent any lag, I believe 10,000 is enough to create all the required detail while still staying somewhat low, for scale, the environments roughly have a count of 110,000 polygons per level. I plan to design all the meshes in quad format as this is generally easier to rig and animate as the deformation is smoother and the stretch isn’t asymmetrical and uneven. I make sure to design and create cuts around the limbs so that arm can bend and legs can walk etc. I manually create all of my topology for good practice and because it creates users work flows when it comes to rigging/animating.

What I learned

 

I was able to apply a lot of knowledge for character modelling but I’d only ever attempted to model a person once before and it went very wrong, I learned a lot about form over the process of modelling these characters and how to use more effective tools to create assets. I found better ways to join vertices together and mirror elements rather than cloning and joining them manually. I learnt a lot about the topology of characters and how to create geometrically sound models, (very important)

 

The clothes was an interesting idea and worked quite well, I understand there are better ways to create them but reusing existing geometry to create them allowed me to generate clothing quickly and effectively, this also meant that vertices lined up and I didn’t run into issues with animation although working to a higher poly count would have made my approach easier.

©2019 by Epticx - George Rickard.